UK Politics

Business sets out priorities for Sajid Javid in new role

Sajid Javid Image copyright Getty Images

The business community have been setting out their priorities as David Cameron appointed Sajid Javid to be his new secretary of state for business.

The British Chamber of Commerce, the CBI and manufacturers' organisation the EEF all called for an early decision on expanding airport capacity

Mr Javid, an MP since 2010, was culture secretary before the election.

Before politics he was an investment banker for Chase Manhattan Bank in New York and Deutsche Bank.

The married father of four was state school educated and studied at Exeter University before embarking on his career which saw him rise to being a managing director of Deutsche Bank in 2009.

Mr Javid, whose father was a Pakistani immigrant who worked as a bus driver, also had spells as financial secretary to the treasury and minister for equalities in the last parliament.

'Diggers on the ground'

EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: "The new secretary of state will also play an important role in any EU negotiations and in the forthcoming referendum and I am sure he understands that the vast majority of businesses he will now be representing in government want Britain to remain at the heart of a reformed Europe."

He added there was a need to "ensure Government delivers the big-ticket infrastructure projects, from the new airport hub to rail and road improvements".

CBI director general John Cridland congratulated Mr Javid on his new job, saying he had been "an excellent treasury minister" and would be a "a strong voice for business".

"As an immediate step, we want the government to set out a clear business plan for its first 100 days, including getting the deficit down, finding new ways to deliver public services and committing to the Airports Commission's final decision this summer," he said.

The BCC's John Longworth said he hoped the government would stay true on "irreversible commitments to new airport capacity" in the South East.

He also urged Mr Cameron to "be ambitious" and to fight Whitehall "inertia".

Meanwhile, Christian May, the head of campaigns and communications at the Institute of Directors described Mr Javid's new role as a "solid appointment".

He said: "Sajid Javid is respected by the business community for his understanding of the hard work and risk taking involved in running a company, and also for his own private sector experience.

"Furthermore, his time spent working with the chancellor will ensure a productive relationship between the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, and the Treasury that wasn't always evident under the coalition."

Runway options

Last week it was reported that that a long-running inquiry into the need for a new airport runway in the South East may be delayed for more public consultation.

Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Airports Commission, decided to take further evidence on problems caused by air pollution.

The commission has already recommended three options for a new runway.

The final report was expected next month, but could now be delayed as a result of the consultation, which is expected to end on Friday 29 May.

The three options are:

  • A new runway at Heathrow
  • Extending one of the two existing runways at Heathrow
  • A new runway at Gatwick

The Airports Commission began its inquiry three years ago, with the result being put off until after the general election.

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